Best Practices Guide for Social Media Beginners
By Megan Busch
Social media is necessary these days as the world becomes more digital. Everyday consumers trust social media and frequently turn to social platforms for accurate and reliable information from and about businesses. If you’re new to social media and don’t really know how they work or which platforms are best for you to use, look no further than this Best Practices Guide for Social Media Beginners. Below we’re shared some useful tips and tricks for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter:
Facebook could be considered the one-stop shop for social media. It should feature a little of everything, including: business updates, your own original content (like blog posts), event updates, photos and relevant news/articles in your industry:
- Fill out entire the Facebook page and “About” section. This is where your consumers can find all of your relevant information, including the link to your website. Don’t leave any information out.
- Moderation is key. Aim for 1-2 posts per day. Avoid clustered updates. Space your posts out throughout the day.
- Keep the 80/20 rule in mind. 80% of the content you post or share should be entertaining or informative, while no more than 20% of your social media communication should directly relate to the goods or services you provide.
- Engage with your Facebook fans in a timely manner. Try for same day responses. If you want your Facebook fans to be able to post on your wall, check “Fans can write or post content on the wall” in settings.
- Engage with fans through photos. Make sure to ask permission before tagging people in your brand’s photo For example, you’ve posted pictures from an event you hosted and some of your social media followers showed up. If you’re new to social media and don’t really know how it works or which platforms to use, look no further than this Best Practices Guide for Social Media Beginners. We’ll share which platform is best for what and the most useful tips and tricks for each social media platform.
Instagram is the platform for visuals, not links. With Instagram, it is important to consider the style and voice that you want to represent with your Instagram photos. Also, be sure to include the link to your website in your Instagram bio.
- Moderation. Aim for 1-2 posts a week to start and you can always increase from there. It’s fine to upload several photos in the same day, but never more than three per day. However, if you are inconsistent and don’t post for a while and then post all at once, people will feel spammed. Make sure to span them out. Don’t post pictures of cheesy quotes or screenshots!
- Hashtags. Like on Twitter, they help Instagrammers categorize pictures, but don’t use more than three hashtags per picture.
- Go easy on the filters and editing. Instagram comes installed with filters and other editing features, like contrast and lighting. Feel free to use these, but go easy. You don’t want to distort or change your image so much that the edits distract from the content. Consider choosing 1-3 filters that you use to maintain style consistency.
- #Regramming. If you want to #regram a picture that a follower has just posted, make sure to wait few hours. If you share the same followers, you don’t want your posts being back to back on users’ feeds.
- Videos. Videos tend to get fewer likes than images. You could opt for a PicStitch (a tool that allows you to make a nice collage) or Boomerang (an app that takes a burst of photos and stitches them together into a high-quality mini video that plays forward and backward) instead.
LinkedIn is the social media platform specifically for businesses. Develop your brand’s page (including logo), relevant brand information and post updates from your company. The most important thing to keep in mind with LinkedIn is to keep the information updated.
- Posts. Posts with links, images, and videos have significantly higher engagement rates. Brands that average 20 posts per month also engage more, but don’t post more than twice in one day.
- Engage. Make sure to respond to your posts, reviews, and questions. If a user leaves a product review, thank them. If they have a complaint, address it. Answer questions and offer advice and assistance.
- Discussions and Groups. There are ways to view LinkedIn Group activity in “Discussions” under “Choose Your View: Latest Discussions” and “What’s Happening.” “What’s Happening” shows the discussions with the most recent activity, so you can keep tabs on current conversations. “Latest Discussions” shows the most recently posted discussions. Joining groups and discussions can help develop a good reputation and display to others that you are relevant.
- Sharing content. Avoid tools that automatically transfer posts from other platforms and try not to share too much—connections are vital, LinkedIn is one place where you really don’t want to be annoying.
Twitter is the place where your business should be sharing frequent updates and news, events, pictures and relevant content, including original content and industry news. The trick with Twitter is that you only have 140 characters to do it!
- Don’t simply promote your product or your own brand. Twitter is a space for sharing other’s materials just as much as you share your own. Try to find a balance between sharing relevant and interesting content for your brand, as well as your own.
- Be clever! Craft quick, attention-getting tweets.
- Add hashtags to extend reach. Consider the relevance of the content for the hashtag’s audience. Keep hashtag use to a maximum of three per tweet and separate them from the text of your message. Consider developing branded hashtags for your brand to use in every tweet.
- Frequency. Aim for three to five posts per day, but keep it at five maximum. If you’re going to be live-tweeting or posting more than average for a period of time, notify your followers beforehand with a day and time.
- Go for variety. Don’t just tweet and don’t simply retweet. When viewing your profile, your Twitter feed should have a diverse stream of tweets. Content can be mainly original tweets, but be sure to also utilize retweeting (with or without commentary), favoriting posts, @replies and images.
As a final thought, you don’t have to use all of these platforms; it might be more appropriate for you to pick 1-2 to start with to get your feet wet. But whatever platforms you decide are right for you, we hope using this guide will help you get started — you’ll become a social media expert in no time!
What additional tips would you add to this list? Let us know in the comment section below!